United Nations, Private Sector Central to Development, Delegates Say as Second Committee Takes Up Global Partnerships
United Nations, Private Sector Central to Development, Delegates Say as Second Committee Takes Up Global Partnerships
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
24th & 25th Meetings (AM & PM)
United Nations, Private Sector Central to Development, Delegates Say
as Second Committee Takes Up Global Partnerships
Debate on Agriculture Development, Food Security Concludes
A strong global partnership was needed to address development issues such as poverty eradication and the impacts of climate change, said the representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the Second Committee (Financial and Economic) took up global partnerships today.
The private sector played an increasingly important role in the pursuit of sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels, he continued, with enhanced public-private sector partnerships and United Nations-private sector collaborations significantly contributing to efforts to achieve internationally-agreed goals.
The representative from the European Union agreed, saying that the private sector had a critical role to play in efforts to attain sustainable development. Private sector actors had important responsibilities and obligations toward their employees, the Government, and to broader communities to ensure partnerships were genuinely beneficial for all.
Several delegates stressed the unique position of the United Nations, including the delegate from Nigeria, who said the Organization could play a fundamental role in creating partnerships to meet global development objectives. The Global Compact had been a catalyst for interactions between the United Nations and the private sector.
Echoing that sentiment, the Russian delegate said her country supported the Global Compact and it had reached a new level of success as a result of a strong relationship with the business community. The Compact had become an authoritative force that fought for the principles of global corporate responsibility.
The representative from South Africa said he believed international efforts had to be well coordinated to increase their impact on the ground. That would require aligning corporate efforts within a global architecture designed to enhance business action and partnerships. In that regard, Global Compact networks would play an essential role in encouraging business to support the goals of the United Nations.
Earlier in the day, the Committee concluded its debate on agriculture development, food security and nutrition. Several delegates stressed the negative impacts of climate change on food production, including the representative from Botswana, who said his country suffered from food insecurity, and diminished agricultural production. Botswana needed help from the international community to achieve food security, particularly in the areas of irrigation, crop science and agricultural technology.
The delegate from Myanmar said that agricultural subsidies and other trade distortions by developed countries harmed the sector in developing countries, making it difficult to contribute to poverty eradication, rural development and sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth. Agriculture had been turned into an increasingly market-driven sector, which meant developing countries needed important investment opportunities and economic benefits, the potential for expansion of production and a comparative advantage in global markets.
Also speaking today were representatives of India, Jordan, Australia, United States, Malawi, Kuwait, Ireland, Ukraine, Jamaica, Namibia, Togo, Burkina Faso, Nicaragua, France, Mozambique, Argentina, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Viet Nam, Bolivia, Netherlands, Montenegro, Saint Kitts and Nevis (on behalf of Caribbean Community), Belarus, and Benin (on behalf of Group of Least Developed Countries).
The representatives of the Holy See, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also delivered statements.
Introducing a report on global partnerships was the Executive Director for the United Nations Global Compact Office.
The Committee will meet again tomorrow at 10 a.m. for a special event on the implementation of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and in the afternoon to take up its agenda item on Palestine.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met today to conclude its consideration of agriculture development, food security and nutrition. In the afternoon, it considered its agenda item on towards global partnerships. On that matter, it had before it a report of the Secretary-General titled “Enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners, in particular the private sector” (document A/68/326).
SHRUTI CHOUDHRY ( India), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, said that food security was at the heart of human development and the international community must ensure that it remained at the centre of the post-2015 development agenda. India fed 17 per cent of the population on less than 5 per cent of the world’s water and 3 per cent of its arable land. The country’s food security law aimed to benefit 75 per cent of its rural population and half of the urban population. Undernourishment and malnutrition was a kin to a silent epidemic in developing countries. An estimated 26 per cent of the world’s children were stunted and 2 billion suffered from one or more micro-nutrient deficiencies. In that regard, there could not be multilateral trade rules that favoured rich countries while punishing developing ones. The right to food must be recognized as a basic human right, she said, noting the central role of technology. Tackling food waste was critical, as 1.3 billion tons of food produced was wasted every year, mostly in developed countries. Enhanced investments must be made in transportation, storage facilities and post-harvest processing.
DIANA ALI AL-HADID ( Jordan) said that over the past few years, food security and economic crises had highlighted the urgent need and the potential for developing sustainable agricultural systems. The Rio+20 outcome document reiterated the importance of sustainable agriculture and the need for increased investment to enhance global food production. Poverty and food insecurity were more concentrated in the rural areas where people owned small parcels of low production agricultural land. Jordan, considered to be heavily urbanized with about 21 per cent of its population living in rural areas, was highly dependent on food and fuel imports. Climate change was also expected to have a significant impact on water supplies and agricultural production in the country, she explained. However, a series of development projects and initiatives had been undertaken towards a modernized and export-oriented agricultural sector which had yielded positive results.
CHRIS BACK ( Australia) said, “We will not overcome food insecurity, hunger, poverty and malnutrition unless we take action across a range of sectors.” Most important was to focus on promoting economic growth. In that context, he said that poor infrastructure prevented developing economies from engaging in global markets. According to the Asian Development Bank, Asia alone required $750 billion annually over the next decade to meet its infrastructure needs, while global aid flows to infrastructure came to $130 billion a year. The story was similar for agriculture. Only the private sector had the capacity to mobilize the necessary financing to meet those investment requirements, although aid played a role in leveraging such investments. Further, malnutrition and the costs of obesity must be considered in the post-2015 development agenda. He also advocated for eliminating agricultural subsidies towards improving food security.
IRINA A. MEDVEDEVA ( Russian Federation) said an effective solution to food security was being impeded by insufficient technical and economic progress in affected countries, including the volatility of the global financial markets. The international community was still experiencing the negative impacts of the irrational use of food resources. Solving the complex issues of food security was a priority in order to ensure global sustainability. Agricultural development and food security must be taken into account in the post-2015 agenda. Russia supported global solutions for food security, including initiatives put forward by the United Nations and the World Food Programme (WFP). The Russian Government believed food security should be a central focus area, including the development of rural lands, increased transparency and efficiency in agricultural markets, as well as increased food security for vulnerable groups.
KYLA BROOKE ( United States) said initiatives such as Feed the Future and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition had contributed toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. However, much was left to be done and now was the time to develop a post-2015 development agenda that included a holistic view of agriculture development. Nutrition must be at the forefront of all food security efforts, particularly during pregnancy and early childhood development. Climate change was a challenge to reliable food production, particularly as farmers tried to produce more food on less land, with fewer inputs and changing water availability. Compounding the effects of climate change were the growing challenges of food waste and loss. Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption each year was lost or wasted. Responsible investment in research and development was the way forward. No country or region could tackle these challenges alone. Food security must be at the top of national and foreign policy agendas, while national ownership remained a critical component.
CHARLES MSOSA (Malawi), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said it was a disheartening paradox that while the world was producing more food commodities than ever, food insecurity was increasing. While Malawi had vast amounts of arable land and water, they were not being used to their full potential and in a sustainable manner due to a lack of appropriate and affordable agricultural technologies. In addition, Malawi’s population had grown over the last decade and exerted more pressure on the country’s natural resources, which posed new challenges for conservation and sustainable use. Through its Economic Recovery Plan, the Government had prioritized agriculture as a sector with huge potential to accelerate the country’s economic growth. The Plan looked at agriculture not only as a means to attain household and nutritional food security, but also as a business through which farmers could generate wealth.
MOHAMAD H. AL AJMI ( Kuwait), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said that his country supported developing countries, particularly those least developed, in their quest to ensure food security. His country had increased its funds for humanitarian activities in combating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. However, climate change presented a major obstacle to achieving economic and rural development, threatening the very existence of some island countries. He called on the international community to take measures that would reduce the effects of climate change in line with diversifying energy sources. Moreover, agriculture development must be incorporated in the post-2015 development agenda to protect and promote each individual’s right to food.
HAN WIN NAING (Myanmar), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the eradication of hunger continued to be a major global challenge, with about 842 million people, or 1 in 8 people worldwide still struggling to have enough food to lead active and healthy lives. Increasing agricultural productivity, sustainability, cutting food waste, mitigating the impact of food price volatility, promoting nutritious diets and building resilience to shocks were key to achieving food and nutrition security. Agriculture had been turned into an increasingly market-driven sector, which allowed developing countries important investment opportunities and economic benefits, the potential for expansion of production and a comparative advantage in many global markets. Providing market access to developing countries was crucial under a multilateral trading system. Agricultural subsidies and other trade distortions by developed countries harmed the agriculture sector in developing countries and limited the sector’s ability to contribute to poverty eradication, rural development and sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth.
EDEL DWYER ( Ireland), associating herself with the European Union, said that ending global hunger remained the single greatest challenge facing the international community. Food insecurity and malnutrition manifested itself in various ways in different regions of the world and had a vast variety of complex and interdependent underlying causes. An integrated approach was necessary to address food security and required intervention and strong policies from the local to the global levels. Smallholder farmers must be at the heart of any sustainable solution to global hunger, while the international community needed to improve their access to credit and farm inputs so they could benefit from new technologies and practices. Engaging and empowering women farmers must be the cornerstone of any strategy to boost agricultural activity.
DINA MARTINA ( Ukraine), associating herself with the European Union delegation, said that her country had significantly increased its capacity in food production and exports. On average, it produced about 55 million tons of grain a year, with a half of harvest being exported. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that by 2020 that figure would peak at 72 million tons, with more than 41 million going to exports. The recently adopted Agricultural Development Strategy aimed to provide the population of Ukraine with quality, safe and affordable food, as well as to contribute to tackling the international hunger challenge. It also focused on strengthening the capacity of agriculture to be economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. She also emphasized the need for an open and rules-based trading system.
SHORNA-KAY RICHARDS (Jamaica), associating herself with the Group of 77 and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that her country’s domestic economic challenges have led to food security issues for the most vulnerable in society. She outlined the objectives of the national food and nutrition security policy, which required significant financing, capacity building and the increased use of sustainable technologies. Achieving sustainable development required going beyond the Millennium Development Goals’ target on hunger and poverty reduction. Essential was a multi-faceted approach that addressed food availability, food access, the consumption, utilization and nutritional value of food, as well as the stability of food supply which depended on sustainable agricultural, land and water use policies.
PENDAPALA A. NAANDA ( Namibia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said his country faced several challenges including the severe effects of climate change such as water scarcity, land degradation and chronic droughts. Historically skewed land distribution was also a challenge as it gave farmland access to only a small minority. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry was involved in diversifying agricultural practices, job creation, market access and promoting food standards. He noted that Namibia was one of the most arid countries in the world, which hugely impacted crop production. In his country, a large percentage of women were involved in subsistence farming and contributed to food security. The gender aspect of agriculture must be mainstreamed in national, as well as international development agendas, he added.
EDJEOU ESSOHANAM ( Togo), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said agricultural development, food security and nutrition were key to reducing the number of people who were hungry and eradicating poverty. Agriculture offered many opportunities for accelerating growth and reducing food insecurity, including increased job creation, the growth of income and improving the trade balance. Togo’s national strategy was to support agricultural development and establish a food safety net, while the country planned to focus on the major challenges that prevented agriculture and fisheries from enjoying sustainable productivity. There needed to be comprehensive land reform, including the allocation of water, which was central to successful agricultural activities. Togo was facing a degradation of its environment, which was exacerbated by natural disasters.
Mr. BENGALY (Burkina Faso), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said that the principle of food being a basic human right was far from being a reality. Burkina Faso faced significant ups and downs in the climate, which had repercussions on agricultural production. Rainfall was insufficient and irregular, while soil, plant cover and water resources were being affected by climate change. The country had a national policy for land stability, through partners such as the United States. Programmes were in place to bring ploughs to rural farmers and hydroelectric dams were being developed in partnership with the World Bank. Burkina Faso was working to subsidize agricultural inputs and had adopted a nutritional and food security programme to reduce the number of people suffering from hunger by one-third between now and 2015.
JASSER JIMÉNEZ ( Nicaragua) said that the current international world order was unfair and without a new one there would be no progress on ensuring food security. For its part, Nicaragua adopted a policy to ensure that its people were protected from hunger, he said, highlighting FAO data that stated it reduced by half those living in hunger. It had also reduced the number of people undernourished. Recently, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that Nicaragua was showing the most positive numbers in Latin America and the Caribbean in improving child nutrition. The Government, by investing in its people and providing nutritional programmes, was able to make progress on many fronts, he added.
FRANÇOIS GAVE (France), associating himself with the European Union, said that combating poverty required investment in the sector of agriculture. Strengthening family farms was the best model for creating jobs and generating wealth in rural areas. Smallholder farmers also respected ecosystems. He called for the mobilization of international efforts to support small farms. It was important to reduce food losses in the harvesting and post harvesting processes. Reducing food waste in developed countries was critical as well. He emphasised the importance of maternal and child nutrition for entire societies and called for coherent policies in that area. Investments must improve situations for smallholder farmers and have a positive impact on their standard of living as those farmers significantly contributed to international food security.
ANTÓNIO GUMENDE (Mozambique), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said food security was among the priority issues of Mozambique’s national and international agendas. His country had adopted policies, strategies and programmes aimed at improving the performance of the agricultural sector to ensure access to adequate nutrition for the entire population, income generation, and a reduction of chronic food insecurity and malnutrition. However, despite positive developments, Mozambique still faced chronic malnutrition affecting 43 per cent of children under 5 years of age. His country called for increased involvement for women, youth and local communities for the implementation of actions to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition.
MATEO ESTREME ( Argentina) said the international community faced a great challenge in addressing the number of people suffering from hunger around the world. Argentina was among the primary food producers in the world and had increased its exportable grain production through joint efforts between the private sector and the State. Agricultural markets were volatile, however, the solution did not hinge on the artificial reduction of the prices of food staples. Artificially low prices due to protectionism, including subsidies from industrialized countries, was one of the factors leading to less investment and lower exporting potential. The global community must confront financial speculation with appropriate regulation to protect the markets and the most-needy countries. The international community must not encourage arbitrary policies and protectionism, as many trade policies had brought negative distortions into the market. Subsidies brought unfair competition, hurting investment and production in developing countries.
FELIPE GARCÍA LANDA ( Mexico) said that his country had launched a national campaign against hunger which aimed to benefit the 7.4 million people living in extreme poverty. Still, the agricultural sector had the potential to become stronger, he said, emphasizing the need to focus on improving productivity, profitability and competitiveness. By improving the system of guarantees and providing greater certainty in the regulatory framework, businesses with greater productivity potential would receive more credit from domestic financial institutions. At the same time, Mexico sought to promote financial inclusiveness, so that benefits could be extended to smallholder food producers. Improved transport infrastructure and integrated mobility systems would reduce costs for economic activity and promote better connectivity for the benefit of both farmers and consumers. He emphasized the need to address other critical food security drivers such as infrastructure development, women’s empowerment and South-South cooperation.
CHITSAKA CHIPAZIWA (Zimbabwe), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said agricultural was the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy and an engine for economic growth and poverty eradication, which gave it a central role in the country’s national development policies. However, Zimbabwe’s efforts to improve its agricultural productively and food security were being challenged by several factors, including climate change, limited financial resources and economic sanctions. Zimbabwe was concerned about the growing decline of funding for agricultural development from international financial institutions, as well as bilateral donors since 1990, and by the trade distorting agricultural subsidies of industrialized countries. Zimbabwe called for an agricultural trading system that guaranteed fair prices to farmers and international support to address the challenges of climate change faced by many developing countries whose economies were largely dependent on agriculture.
DO HUNG VIET (Viet Nam), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and ASEAN, said that his country was a developing country with nearly 70 per cent of its population of 90 million living in rural areas. The agricultural sector, through shrinking, accounted for nearly 20 per cent of his country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In recent years, Viet Nam went from a country reliant on food imports to one of the world’s largest food exporters, providing about one-fifth of the world’s rice exports. Major reforms had been made in irrigation development, agricultural expansion services, and new technologies. He emphasized the need to empower farmers, especially smallholders, to ensure that they benefit fully from their work. Climate change was hitting agriculture and farmers the hardest. Moreover, price volatility and protectionist measures were also having an adverse effect.
TLHALEFO MADISA (Botswana), associating himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said there needed to be a critical injection of resources into the agricultural sector of sub-Saharan Africa if we were to realize a world free from hunger. Botswana had always depended on rain-fed agriculture for the subsistence of crops and livestock, especially in rural areas. However, rainfall had become both sporadic and unreliable due to climate change, resulting in the serious loss of agricultural production, food insecurity and a decrease in the overall contribution of agriculture to the economy. Climate change had also negatively impacted food sources that had great nutritional and medicinal value. To achieve food security, Botswana needed the assistance of the international community, especially in the area of irrigation, crop science and agricultural technology.
ADRIANA PACHECO ( Bolivia), associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, said food insecurity had a negative impact on economies and people. Access to food was a basic human right. Knowledge of food production techniques was important, as food was not only for nutrition, but also for medicine and part of national identity. Each country should promote the production of the types of foods their population eat, along with the protection of ecological systems. We must focus on rural populations and promote sustainable agriculture, while sanctioning financial speculation that hurts agricultural development. The international community must dismantle the developed countries’ subsidies and strengthen and promote local knowledge, while eliminating the concentration of resources in the a few hands of only a few powerful actors.
KAREL J.G. VAN OOSTEROM ( Netherlands), associating himself with the European Union delegation, said that the increased risk of hunger meant an increased risk of violence, crime and social unrest. Hence, the challenges of food and nutrition security required a broad and integrated approach on both the political and the implementation levels. Aid, global governance and international trade were all interconnected. Governments must create the right incentives and conditions for farmers and agribusiness. He supported the development and implementation of broad consensus-based guidelines that linked private agricultural investments to public concerns and objectives. He also highlighted the “Dutch diamond approach”, in which Governments, the private sector, universities and civil society all act together with one shared vision.
MILORAD ŠĆEPANOVIĆ (Montenegro), associating himself with the European Union delegation, pointed to national reforms aimed at aligning his country with the highest food standards in Europe. Still in the preparatory stage, the strategy of agriculture and rural development would address pertinent challenges and seek to identify roles for each stakeholder in the process. Recognizing the growing prospects of organic production and having high quality and fertile land in a well-preserved environment, Montenegro adopted a plan which would allow it to practice ecologically efficient agriculture and environmentally-friendly cultivation. He emphasized the significant role of smallholder farmers and called for urgent and concrete actions on the part of the international community to deliver the most vulnerable from extreme poverty and hunger.
FRANCIS ASSISI CHULLIKATT, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, said hunger, like all forms of poverty, was caused by exclusion. Food was a basic human right. Hunger was not caused by a lack of sufficient food to feed every person on the planet, but was a problem of exclusion. A way must be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs that fell from the table, he said. While improvements in food production remained an important goal, food security would only be achieved when social structures were changed and greater solidarity was displayed toward the poor and hungry. Hunger was a human problem that demanded a resolution based on common humanity. The tragedy of it was exacerbated by the excessive waste of economic resources, particularly food.
AJAY MADIWALE, a representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said that 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 suffered from malnutrition, and every year, close to 9 million children died as a consequence of malnutrition. Eighty per cent of the world’s stunted children lived in just 20 countries and 60 per cent of the world’s undernourished children lived in Africa. Governments must do more to support the livelihoods of smallholder farmers as they produced 70 per cent of the world’s food. Especially vulnerable to food insecurity, were landless and displaced persons, women, children, those with disabilities and the elderly. There was also a need to address the preparedness, quality, and timeliness of international response to food security crises. Today, more than 11 million people in the Sahel continued to be food insecure. Food insecurity was a problem in developed countries as well, he said, highlighting that the Red Cross offices in Europe had seen a 75 per cent increase in the number of people reliant on food assistance.
ZACHARY BLEICHER, a representative of FAO, speaking on behalf of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and WFP, said that food insecurity and malnutrition were exacerbated by price and income swings. The international community must address the long-term issues in how it produced, traded, and consumed food in the face of population growth, increasing demand and climate change. He emphasized the importance of strengthening policies and increasing investment. Obesity was on the rise with 1.4 billion overweight adults. It was also particularly important to empower women especially in rural areas as they represented 43 per cent of the agricultural work force worldwide. Collective action was the way forward, he said, stressing that food security and malnutrition were universal challenges that must be anchored in the post-2015 agenda.
In the afternoon the delegates took up the agenda item “Towards global partnerships”.
Introduction of Reports
GEORGE KELL, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact Office, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on “Enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners, in particular the private sector”, saying that it focused on progress on integrity measures and the implementation of the guidelines for cooperation between the United Nations and the business sector, and strengthening of Global Compact local networks. The report also presented four recommendations that should be considered in order to overcome the challenges associated with ensuring integrity with a view to fostering more effective collaboration. The report also recommended shifting from a risk-averse to a risk-managed approach. It recommended promoting and improving transparency through more effective internal and external communication and by disclosing successes and failures. He also highlighted several activities of the United Nations Global Compact including a summit held in September, which gathered more then 1,000 leaders from business, Government and civil society.
DELANO FRANK BART (Saint Kitts and Nevis), speaking on behalf of CARICOM and associating himself with the Group of 77, said that global partnerships must be based on a common understanding of humanity. CARICOM sought to evaluate what constituted effective global partnerships within the scope of the Millennium Development Goal 8 “Global Partnerships for Development”. It also urged countries to ask for a review of the measures used to determine country classification for official development assistance (ODA), saying that higher overall average income did not necessarily indicate less poverty. He called for the conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations and emphasized the importance of ensuring debt sustainability.
The erosion of trade preferences and extreme weather events in several Caribbean countries led to poor — and even negative — economic growth, he said. Contributing to the challenges were the high tariffs imposed on developing countries in the areas of agriculture, textiles and clothing which contributed to the agricultural subsidies in developed countries. CARICOM called for the implementation of the commitment to eliminate all forms of agricultural export subsidies, as well as to increase support for strengthening the productive sectors in developing countries. He also pointed out that there was still inflexibility of the international financial structures which contained an ineffective mechanism to adequately resolve excessive sovereign debt.
IOANNIS VRAILAS, a representative of the European Union delegation, said the United Nations was a unique partner for the global business community for sustainable development and poverty eradication efforts. The participation of the private sector could contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. Similar to other stakeholders, private sector actors had important responsibilities and obligations toward their employees, the Government, as well as toward broader communities to ensure that partnerships were genuinely beneficial for all. United Nations partnerships, including the Global Compact, played an important role in promoting dialogue and cooperation between the United Nations and the private sector, as well as other stakeholders.
The Union welcomed the significant progress made in recent years in building partnerships with the private sector, including the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum that brought together nearly 3,000 participants, including investors, academics, community representatives, environmental experts and corporate leaders from all regions. The European Union member States were working on a draft resolution, entitled “Towards Global Partnerships”, to encourage and strengthen partnerships, as well as promote dialogue with stakeholders about the post-2015 development agenda. It included recommendations for enhanced transparency, accountability and due diligence, as well as efforts for partnerships at the local level.
RAYMOND THULANE NYEMBE ( South Africa) said that efforts aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals must be accelerated. The central role of a strengthened global partnership for development should have national ownership as its main focus. He called for developed countries to fulfil their ODA commitments to developing and least developed countries. The United Nations must continue to push forward with new and improved forms of collaborating with the private sector. Development cooperation must respond to the needs of partner countries. Action must be well coordinated in order to increase its impact on the ground. Doing so would require aligning corporate efforts within a global architecture designed to enhance business action and partnerships. In that regard, Global Compact networks would play an essential role in encouraging business to support United Nations goals.
KHAM-INH KITCHADETH (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), speaking on behalf of ASEAN and associating himself with the Group of 77, said a strong global partnership was needed to address development issues, including the eradication of poverty and the impacts of climate change. At the same time, the private sector played an increasingly important role in the pursuit of sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels. ASEAN reaffirmed its full support of the central role the United Nations played in global policy governance and the promotion of sustainable development around the world. Enhanced public-private sector partnerships and United Nations-private sector collaborations would significantly contribute to ongoing efforts achieve internationally-agreed development goals.
He said that ASEAN welcomed the Secretary-General’s proposal to establish a United Nations partnership facility to leverage catalytic partnerships with a full range of partners, including civil society, businesses, financial institutions, philanthropic organizations and academic and scientific institutions. The Association believed that the private sector was the cornerstone of the new architecture of interdependence among East Asian economies and the global economy at large. Public-private sector engagement would continue to improve the coherence, transparency and synergies of Government policies and business actions across industries and sectors in the ASEAN region. Private sector inputs and partnerships were essential not only in designing regional strategies and initiatives, but also in indentifying challenges to regional integration.
ABDULLAH AHMED AL SHARRAH ( Kuwait) said the world needed a new post-2015 developmental agenda that established new global partnerships between the United Nations and various partners, including the private sector. Kuwait was considered a high income developing country and had provided a great deal of financial assistance to developing countries, including those least developed. The fund was initially designed for the Arab region, but had expanded to include Asian, African, Central and South American countries. The fund provided developmental assistance and effectively contributed to fostering the principles of friendships worldwide. Kuwait had worked to eradicate poverty, reduce debts and address the needs of developing and least developed countries. Kuwait wanted to take part in efforts sponsored by the United Nations that fostered cooperation, recognizing that it was the cornerstone to achieving global development.
IRINA A. MEDVEDEVA ( Russian Federation) said strengthening partnerships between States, international organizations and the private sector was a key factor for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and other efforts to combat poverty and attain balanced economic growth and sustainable development. Partnerships should be responsive to Member States and respect the need for the autonomy of the United Nations, while the growth of business relationships between the Organization and the private sector should be encouraged. The Russian Federation supported the Global Compact, which had reached a higher level of quality as a result of new relationships with the business community. The Compact had become an authoritative force that fought for the principles of global corporate responsibility.
VITALY MACKAY ( Belarus) highlighted the importance of global partnerships in a world of increasing growing players. It was only through a collaborative approach between the public and private sectors that the international community could address challenges such as the eradication of poverty. Global partnerships and the bringing together of States, civil society and the private sector presented the best and most long term prospects. Such an approach was key to the successful implementation of global partnerships in the area of development. He also suggested that partnerships undertaken at the national level be respectful of national realities and priorities. Global thematic partnerships can become very important tools for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals.
EMMANUEL OLUWADARE OGUNTUYI ( Nigeria), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, said that achieving global partnerships was a key component to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. He noted that world leaders had reaffirmed in the Rio+20 outcome document, entitled the “Future we want”, their commitment to building partnerships with civil society and the private sector. The United Nations could play a fundamental role in developing partnership processes in pursuit of global development objectives. Nigeria urged that partnerships established with different agencies take into consideration the principles of transparency. The Global Compact had been a catalyst with the United Nations interacting with the private sector. At the national level, Nigeria cooperated with Governments, the private sector and civil society with the view of promoting development.
JEAN-FRANCIS ZINSOU (Benin), speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, drew attention to the Ministerial Declaration outcome document, saying it provided strategic guidelines on the prompt realization of the Istanbul Programme of Action. The Istanbul Programme was a powerful tool for least developed countries to overcome poverty and achieve the development goals. It would also enable countries to emerge from the least developed category. He called for the broadest possible support on the part of all stakeholders so that poor countries could transform their economies. Additional financial and technical resources must be mobilized to help them in their development pursuit. ODA remained the main source of financial funding of the least developed countries, he emphasized and stressed that aid must be stepped up. Priority must be given to least developed countries within the World Trade Organization (WTO). On debt, there was a need for partnerships between poor countries and their lenders. He welcomed the establishment of a technological bank for least developed countries. He called for an increase in South-South and Triangular Cooperation and the strengthening of the Global Compact.
* *** *